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Reply To: NBA • Monday Service Plays • 12/14/15

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Preview: Phoenix At Dallas

When: 8:30 PM ET, Monday, December 14, 2015

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Mavericks figured to take another step forward during a three-game homestand but are instead moving in the opposite direction after dropping the first two contests. The Mavericks will try to salvage the finale when they host the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Dallas has dropped all three of its December home games and fell to Atlanta on Wednesday and Washington on Saturday by a combined six points. “We’ve got to play harder,” Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons told ESPN.com. “We’ve got to not worry about the offensive end, not worry about our own individual shots, not worry about all that stuff and just compete. Leave it all out there, especially on the defensive end.” The Suns locked like they found an edge on the defensive end until allowing 35 fourth-quarter points on Sunday to send a rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves into a tight 108-101 victory. Phoenix has won three of its last four games but allowed over 100 points in each of those four contests.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), FSN Southwest (Dallas)

ABOUT THE SUNS (11-14): Monday’s contest marks the return of center Tyson Chandler, who signed with Phoenix in free agency over the summer after Dallas let him go while making an ill-fated run at Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Chandler sat out eight straight games with a hamstring injury and is being worked back in slowly off the bench. The veteran, who averaged 10.3 points and 11.5 rebounds with the Mavericks last season, is splitting time with Alex Len at the center spot and logged 23 minutes in a reserve role on Sunday.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (13-11): Dallas moved on quickly after losing Chandler and missing out on Jordan, bringing in veteran Zaza Pachulia to run the post. The 31-year old was one of the bright spots in the last two games and logged a double-double in each with totals of 21 points and 29 rebounds. Pachulia is putting up Chandler-like numbers with 10.7 points and 10.3 rebounds and went for 10 and 10 in 25 minutes when the Mavericks logged a 111-95 win at Phoenix on Oct. 28.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Mavericks have taken the last two in the series after dropping three straight.

2. Phoenix G Brandon Knight, who scored one point on 0-of-12 shooting on Friday, recovered with 25 points on Sunday.

3. Dallas PG Deron Williams (illness) sat out Saturday and is day-to-day.

PREDICTION: Mavericks 105, Suns 101